It is summertime! While this is a glorious time of year, it presents unique challenges for parents. All parents work, whether you are a stay-at-home, work-at-home parent or at the office. Summer, like weekends, presents many opportunities to connect with our kids, and often many conflicts with the work that still needs to be done! Most parents experience some angst or unease as you transition from your regular routines into your summer schedule for days at home. (Going away on holidays is often easier to transition into because the workload is often much diminished.)
I want to give you a few tips for how to set your family up for a great summer or weekend day around the house.
Make connecting with them your first priority! If you know you need to spend two hours on work that you can’t involve them in, plan to do something with your kids first. That way they will feel nurtured and grounded before you start your work. That will save you the endless interruptions as your kids try to get your attention.
Some ways to connect can include:
– going for a bike ride or walk. Morning is a wonderful time to stroll your neighborhood. You can discuss your days plans at the same time, and warn your child that you will be busy after. That gives your child a chance to develop plans for how he or she will keep busy too.
– bake something with your child. Many girls and some boys love to bake, and the time spent making muffins or cookies is a great chance to connect.
– read a short story or watch an inspiring video. This can become an incredibly valuable lifetime habit.
Give your child some structure for their day. Although we all love free time, with no structure, too little structure has negative consequences for your child. As well, if he hasn’t got cleaned up and ready for the day, when opportunities come to play, or hang out as my teen and tween say, with other kids, your child won’t be ready.
Useful structure can include:
– no media time until you’ve cleaned up, eaten and done any chores you have to do.
– outside time has to equal media time. That way your child will be sure to have some active time to counteract or balance their media time. My kids used to ask if they could read outside! I’ve always insisted they do something active, so that doesn’t count in my books.
Ask your children if they have any projects they’d like to do over the summer . This can be a great way of helping them make the best of their time off. Sometimes kids don’t think ahead to realize they now have time to make that kitty condo they’ve always wanted to make (my kids’ decided to do that last week). Your kids may also tell you that they’d like to go to a spray park or some other activity that you can work into your summer plans.
What are some of your ideas for how to balance connecting with your family with getting what you need done, done on summer days at home? Please leave your comment and share this post with your friends. Above all, have a great summer with your family and enjoy each chance you do have to be together!